MANILA, Philippines - Princess Superal flashed top form to fire a one-under 71 and seize a two-stroke lead over Malaysian Nur Eliana Ariffin at the start of the Kuala Lumpur Amateur Open 2014 at the Kelab Golf Perkhidmatan Awam Malaysia in Bukit Kiara, Kuala Lumpur late Tuesday.
Coming off a joint ninth place finish in last week’s Thailand LPGA Championship won by Dottie Ardina where she shared the low amateur honors with ICTSI teammate Pauline del Rosario, Superal rammed in two birdies against a lone bogey to fashion out a 36-35 round and pace the field that includes some of the leading amateurs in the region.
Ariffin failed to cash in on her familiarity with the par-72 layout and sputtered with a 73 to trail the reigning SEA Games gold medalist by two while Nur Durriyah Damian stood a shot farther back at 74.
Sam Martirez and Bernice Olivarez-Ilas, the other members of Team ICTSI, likewise stayed within striking distance despite turning in identical 76s for joint fourth with three others.
The other four-over par scorers were Hok Soch Hwee of Singapore, Kelie Yan and Goh Jen while Sofia Chabon struggled with a five-over 77.
“She could’ve pulled away early but missed a couple of putts from close range,” said Team ICTSI coach Bong Lopez of Superal. “But her ball striking and iron game are okay.”
The KL meet is one of a number of international tournaments lined up for the ICTSI-backed golfers with Superal eyeing a crack at the Asian Games gold in South Korea later this year.